The Congress could be staring at being a distant third partner in the Samajwadi Party- Bahujan Samaj Party alliance in Uttar Pradesh and would get only eight seats as per the agreed formula between these two parties.
Informal talks have been going on between the SP and the BSP for many months now. According to sources, the two main players of the alliance have agreed that 2014 Lok Sabha results should be used as the parameter for seat division.
“According to the 2014 results, the Samajwadi Party won five seats and was on second place on 31. The BSP on the other hand was on second place in 34 seats and the Congress won two seats and was second in six seats. So deducing from this, the SP should get 36 seats, the BSP 34 and for the Congress we can spare only eight seats,” a senior SP leader told The Hindu . The SP will have its National Executive on July 28 where among other things this formula too will be discussed officially within the party forum.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal will get up to two seats. As per the analysis, these include Mathura, where Hema Malini of the BJP won, the RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary was in second position there; and in the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was second to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “In exchange of Varanasi, we are ready to give it a seat in western Uttar Pradesh. They already hold Kairana. So the SP can spare one seat out of its 36 taking the RLD’s total claim to three,” the leader added.
There is no clash in vote share between the SP, the BSP, the RLD or the Congress if this formula is followed.
Both the BSP and the SP are clear that they will not court the Congress themselves till the grand old party comes knocking seeking a place in the alliance. “We saw in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections last year how the Congress behaved. They negotiated their seat share far above their capacity which eventually hurt electoral fortunes of the alliance,” the senior leader said.
BSP supremo Mayawati, meanwhile, has been publicly staking claim on 40 seats and wants to be the senior partner in alliance. “If the Congress acts pricey, we will be more than happy not to give them a place in the alliance. We have polled sizeable number of votes on the six seats that the Congress was in second place in 2014 so we can easily claim them for us,” a senior BSP leader said.